They say politics makes for strange bedfellows. But we’d never have expected Paul Keating and the likes of John Howard to cuddle up quite like this.

That’s right, Keating voted Liberal in Saturday’s byelection for the state seat of Sydney. He told us himself, in his inimitable style, when Crikey confronted him with a rumour about what he did at the polling booth. Take it away, PJK:

“As Keating walked past the booth workers for the independent Alex Greenwich he refused their how to vote, taking one from the booth worker for the Liberal candidate, Shayne Mallard. Keating turned to the Greenwich booth worker and said ‘only Clover could drive me to think of voting for the Liberal Party’, whereupon the Liberal booth worker asked Keating for a photograph, which he politely refused. As he entered the polling booth the Greens ran up the rear, sporting their how to vote, but which Keating looked upon with disdain.”

And that wasn’t the only surprise from a big weekend of voting — Charles Richardson writes up the results for Crikey today. The party which did best out of the ACT election is the only party which won’t be a part of the territory’s new government. Liberal luminary Robert Doyle coasted to victory as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne — but will need to convince one from a bloc of six dissenting councillors (including Crikey founder Stephen Mayne) to get his way.

And that’s the way we like our politics here at Crikey. Surprising, confounding and flying in the face of the relentless dull grind of too-frequent opinion polling. Throw in a cameo by Keating, and that’s what we call a good weekend.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey